50 Year Old Gay Man Attacked By Gang Leaving Bar In Philly
A violent attack outside a bar in Center City Philadelphia is under investigation, and police are trying to figure out if the victim was specifically targeted.
The attack happened around 11 p.m. Sunday outside the Toasted Walnut in the 1300 block of Walnut Street.
The bartender who was working that night, Josh Schonewolf, saw what happened.
"All of a sudden a car full of guys decided to jump out and attack one of the patrons here right in front," he said.
Police say the 50-year-old victim was jumped by four men and a woman.
"It seemed random but they were definitely calling him some gay slurs as they were beating him up," said Schonewolf.
Police say the suspects jumped into a vehicle and fled before officers arrived. The victim was sent to the hospital and treated for a head injury.
Witnesses say others stepped in to try to break it up.
"The (general manager) happened to be outside and he was also punched in the face," said Schonewolf.
People talking about this incident on social media have mentioned a similar attack on Saturday in the same area.
Schonewolf says it's scary and disheartening that it's happening this neighborhood.
"Some people refer to this part of town as Midtown Village but to me - I'm from Philly - it is always going to be the Gayborhood. And if this is happening at 13th and Walnut I don't know where we're supposed to feel safe," he said.
As for whether or not this is being investigated as a hate crime, Philadelphia Police say a hate crime charge may be added after they have done their investigation.
The district attorney's office will make that determination.
Amber Hikes, the Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of LGBT Affairs, issued the following statement on Tuesday evening:
"We're working closely with the police department, victim services, witnesses, and business owners in the area to determine what transpired."